Faulkton Area Foundation Opens Grant Applications

9 Feb 2021


Faulkton Area Foundation was established in 2014 with the goal of raising $200,000 in five years. In the summer of 2020, the foundation board and its stakeholders met that goal and received a matching grant of $50,000 from the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). With the endowment reaching over $250,000, Faulkton Area Foundation was able to launch the inaugural grant application cycle on February 1, 2021. This will begin the biannual grant process with application deadlines on March 1 and September 1, and with grants subsequently announced on April 1 and October 1.

Applications can be found here. Typically, applicants must be non-profit, non-government organizations, and repeat proposals from one organization within a 12-month period are discouraged. Projects involving significant and continuous volunteer support will be considered more favorably over projects with paid staff. Organizations granted funds will be expected to provide the foundation with a report about how the funds were spent and an evaluation of what made their program or project a success. Full eligibility details and guidelines can be found here.

How Faulkton Area Foundation Works

Faulkton Area Foundation CheckFaulkton Area Foundation is a Community Savings Account (CSA) managed and invested by SDCF, allowing 4.5 percent of the three year average value of the endowment to be available as grants to Faulkton area nonprofits each year. The principal is never touched making it a sustainable source of funding to help the community long into the future. However, the available grant funds are not static since the larger the investment, the more interest will be earned for awards.  

Even though the investment is managed by SDCF, decisions about grant distribution are fully made by a local board that understands how the community works and what it needs. Faulkton Area Foundation was established precisely because nonprofits’ need for funding was recognized at several community meetings eight years ago.

“We set out to identify a way to tackle that issue and we decided the best option we had was to establish a Community Savings Account,” said Troy Hadrick, President of the Faulkton Area Foundation. “Instead of always raising money on a case by case basis we could have a CSA with the South Dakota Community Foundation that would make our money work for us and be there when the need arises for generations to come.  And just like always, our community members stepped up to the plate to put their hard-earned dollars towards building our fund.  After just six short years, we are excited to be able to start handing out grants to eligible projects. It’s another reason why the future is so bright for the Faulkton area.” 

How Faulkton Area Foundation Raised Money

In the beginning, Faulkton Area Foundation hosted theme dinners each spring along with fundraisers like gun raffles to supplement direct donations. In the fall of 2019, they decided to kick it up a notch with Chase the Ace. 

Chase the Ace: How it Works

Basically, you buy tickets for $5.00 each for the chance to “chase” the ace of spades. At the beginning of the prize cycle, the pot is staked with $5,000 and all 54 cards — each sealed in an envelope — are laid out in a grid on the night of the weekly drawing. The person whose ticket is drawn from the raffle drum during Facebook Live wins ten percent of that week’s ticket sales and gets to choose a card. If they pick the ace of spades, they win half of the cumulative pot ($5,000 plus the ticket sales). The cycles go on with new ticket sales and a drawing each week until the ace of spades is chosen.

This results in the pot growing larger and larger. Faulkton’s Chase the Ace is around 30 weeks into its fourth cycle, and for the week of February 1, 2021, the weekly ticket sales were $32,805 adding to the pot to create a prize worth $218,391. The selected ticket holder won $3,280, but did not pick the ace of spades out of the 25 available cards. They did get a bonus $100 for picking a different ace. This week, there will be 24 cards left to pick from and the pot will grow to an expected $245,000, said Hadrick.

Chase the Ace Brings the Community Together

Faulkton Area Foundation Board0“Chase the Ace has been a really exciting way for our Foundation to engage with the community,” said Hadrick. “Even when the pandemic shut down most of the activities in our community, we were still able to continue on with virtual ticket sales and live drawings on Facebook. Now that things are getting back to normal, we have been able to have our drawings at the local bars and steakhouse. They’ve been a huge help to us by selling tickets for us and hosting our drawings. It’s been fun to have our community gather together each week to see who might be the big winner!”  

What does the future hold for Chase the Ace? Hadrick said they will probably take a short break after this round, but then look forward to another round of fun and fundraising for the community.  

Information about how to purchase tickets, rules, and videos of the previous drawings can be found on Faulkton Area Foundation’s Facebook Page.